Redefine Properties meets with Mthambothini Royal Council over Boulders Ndebele garb incident
THE chief executive of Redefine Properties met with the Mthambothini Royal Council on Friday to discuss the Boulders Shopping Centre incident where a man dressed in traditional Ndebele garb was asked to leave the mall last month.
In March, Thando Mahlangu, an author and Ndebele activist, went viral after the manager of the shopping complex ordered him to leave as he was supposedly not dressed appropriately.
In the video, which was taken in the aisle of a Clicks store, Mahlangu was confronted by the shopping centre’s manager, who took umbrage at him for being dressed in traditional Ndebele clothing.
In the video, the now suspended mall manager described Mahlangu’s dress as “indecent” and requested he leave the mall.
A Clicks manager came to Mahlangu defence, and the the following day retailer lodged a formal complaint with the mall owners about the manager’s conduct.
Redefine Properties CEO Andrew Konig met with the Mthambothini Royal Executive Council of King Mabhoko III in Weltevreden to discuss the viral video incident. The king was not present in the meeting.
Konig said: “We are grateful for the audience and take the opportunity to thank the Mthambothini Royal Council for their benevolent guidance.
“The reaffirmation of our shared values is more important now than ever before, as we strive for equity, diversity and integration.”
Since the story broke, the leadership of Redefine Properties has met with Mahlangu, the South African Human Rights Commission and other civil society formations.
They said they would also meet with the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities to discuss the incident.
“As reported in the media, Redefine has held several meetings with Mr Mahlangu and considered his demands.
“These discussions have, to date, unfortunately, been unsuccessful and Redefine hopes to re-engage with Mr Mahlangu again to address concerns he has,” said Redefine Properties.
“Notwithstanding the state of discussions with Mahlangu, Redefine remains committed to the implementation of programmes including diversity training under the guidance of the SAHRC and the Royal Executive Council.”
Baba Ntuli, the managing director of the Nduzundza Mabhoko Kingdom, said: “The road ahead must be paved with genuine intentions and a collective effort to put in place ways of improving inter-cultural understanding.”